This ‘Planes’ review was written by James Brinsford, a GIGsoup contributor.

It may have been quite a time of turmoil in the life of Steve Forrest when he decided to swap the drumming duties of internationally renown Placebo for a full-time focus on Planes but at least he can take comfort in the fact that with Hotfoot, he’s helped to create an often fantastic debut.

The Brighton band have probably experienced how the sea air rolls in to town but it seems that the Summer Breeze of their opening track has isn’t held in the same esteem. It wafts in with a dark slow paced, doom laden beat that couldn’t be further from the images conjured by the song’s title.

The deep dirty guitar riffs are given some light by the addition of strings halfway through only for them to be slowly subsumed in the same way the listener will find themselves involuntarily surrendering too.

It is apt that at this point when you feel backed in to a corner that the next track is called Tiny Spaces. There’s no need to feel trapped though as this offers a light breaking through as the more  expansive nature of it sets you free with a joyful chorus of hope.

Tiny Spaces is the first time that Planes influences start coming clear with the likes of Arctic Monkeys looming large but from the period that they were still Sheffield-based herberts and hadn’t yet been seduced by the desert and Josh Homme,

In some ways it’s the familiarisation that helps make Hotfoot so easy to listen to but there’s enough originality to ensure it stands apart from its influences. Ole brings together an urgency with a contrasting slow building refrain that builds you up brick at a time before releasing you skywards at the height of the chorus.

And so, from the introspective drudgy guitar sound of Tex to the sweet vocal harmonies of Wait it Out, which should encourage further participation on the singing front of Char O’Lette, Planes have produced an album that’s worth investing time in. Despite Hotfoot not taking you to unchartered sonic territories, Planes still lands you at a place that’s worth revisiting on multiple occasions.

Hotfoot, is out now via Merrington Music.

The full track-listing is as follow…

‘Summer Breeze’

‘Tiny Spaces’

‘Ole’

‘Tex’

‘My Own Way’

‘Wait It Out’

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Steve Forrest (guitar & lead vocals) recently announced his departure from Placebo in order to focus all his energies on Planes

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